A Bump in the Road of Pandemic Life

Ugh. I hate it when a plan goes splat. I thought I had figured out this Pandemic Life. After all, self-quarantine wasn’t much different from my everyday life as an author. Oops. The road may look straight, but a bump in the road can make life difficult. Somehow Tuesday was my day to hit that bump. Everything turned upside down. No, nothing bad happened. I tripped over a lot of small frustrations.

LIke this image of a long straight road with a lot of bumps, A bump in the road of Pandemic life can leave you uncertain or worse.

A Bump in the Road

Tuesday was supposed to be productive. I have been writing and making progress on my novel. Not huge amounts, but 2-4 pages a day. I planned for 2 pages today. 

I hadn’t researched my blog post yet, but I’ve gotten my method down pat. It wouldn’t be a problem.

My monthly newsletter was scheduled for release on Tuesday. I wrote it a few days ago. It needed proofreading and images and it would be good to go.

And to prepare for new book cover designs, I’m redesigning the logo for my imprint, Rocket Dog Publishing. The image only needed a final tweak, and I could send it to my designer.

It All Went South

like this detour sign, A bump in the road of pandemic life means you're changing direction.

I’m not sure when things went south. Was it when I cut more words out of the WIP than I wrote?

Perhaps it was while I made the final change to the logo. The Photoshop layer went weird and I COULD NOT figure out what I did wrong.

Maybe it was when I wrote a 1,000 word long blog post about something not on my plan. And it wasn’t appropriate for my blog. What was I thinking?

Then there was dinner, a stovetop one pot meal. Easy peasy. Except I started it one hour later than I should have. And it heated up the house.

We had a very warm day outside today. Eighty degrees. Lovely blue skies. Lots of pollen in the air and a husband who’s allergic to every kind of pollen there is means no opening of windows. Time to turn on the AC. With the stove in high gear, the house grew inordinately warm. You guessed it, the air conditioner is on the fritz.

And when my husband said something without thinking, I got angry. Really angry. I replied in anger. I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true, but my tone was—um—not nice.

Time To ReGroup

Just like this slow down sign along a road, A bump in the road of pandemic life means slow down, regroup

Why am I sharing this with you? Not for your pity. Seriously, minor frustrations that add up to an outburst rarely rates a blog post. Except we’re in the midst of a pandemic. It’s changed all our lives. And if you’re like me, you think you’re handling things extraordinarily well. Until you aren’t.

Today was a small warning. I could keep pushing. Keep trying to get everything done. But that wouldn’t be wise.

There are stages you go through when dealing with a life-changing crisis. You can read about the different stages in a post written by a guy who’s seen many life-changing crises.

I had taken care of our security (first stage). We have shelter and food. And enough TP for now. *Smile*

Mentally, I’d given myself time to adjust. I accepted the fact that we had to change the way we did things. Made a plan. And it was working.

I knew I had to slow down. And I did. But I forged forward, forgetting to give myself more frequent breaks. Didn’t  allow for the mental disruption to continue longer than a week or two. And it surprised me when I hit more than one bump in the road of pandemic life.

Adjusting to a Crisis

Adjusting to a crisis takes time. And it isn’t linear. You’ll be fine this week. And not so fine next. Everyone’s adjustment period is different. But we all need to allow ourselves to have those disruptions. Forgive ourselves for not living our “normal.” For not being as productive as we expect ourselves to be.

There will be days when minor frustrations magnify. Heck, there are major frustrations too. They would bother us if there wasn’t a pandemic going on. With a pandemic? Sometimes those bumps magnify into mountains.

When you hit a bump in the road of pandemic life, give yourself a break. Step back. Recognize your stress levels. Look in your mental health first aid kit and use the tools you have there.

Take a Break

image of girl lying on a bed, relaxing
Vacation in self-quarantine

So, this is me. Taking a break. Stepping out of my plan, out of my comfort zone and sharing this with you. I hope that by sharing this, you’ll realize it’s time to take a break a little more quickly than I did. That you’ll forgive yourself and allow yourself time to recover when you hit a bump in the road of your pandemic life. Have you hit that bump yet? What did you do to cope?

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